I can’t believe I am actually saying it, but the 2015 holiday season is upon us! More and more shoppers are leaving behind the traditional “head to the mall” model for the simpler (and much less stressful) option of online shopping. Add to this the continually increasing trend towards mobile and you have a real challenge ahead of you this season. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to either add to or enhance your digital portfolio to help you stand out from the crowd this holiday season:
Display ads are a great way to get high-quality and visually pleasing ads out in front of people that you normally would not have much exposure to. More and more websites (including high exposure sites) are joining ad networks which make this an exceptional way to promote some holiday-timed info. Most of the display networks allow you to run these ads on a “per click” basis which means that every impression of your ad is free until someone clicks on it. That can amount to tons of “free” brand exposure. Make those ads something to really check out and you can leverage a very powerful and very affordable tool!
Think display advertising with a super brain! Remarketing ads allow you to provide those same display ads but to a very specific group of people. Want to show an ad for a black watch to people looking for one? No problem. Simply set up a list for people who visit your black watch pages and then feed them a specific, targeted ad. Ever wish you could visit a customer who almost bought a product from your store and tell them “hey, buy now and I’ll take 10% off”? Wish no more. Remarketing can be used from a basic standpoint of just getting a generic ad out to people who visited your site and didn’t purchase anything or from a very advanced standpoint. Either way, why would you not?
While email marketing has been a staple in many successful marketing arsenals for some time, there are a ton of companies that don’t actually have a list of emails to market to. While you can always go the “let’s buy a list of great email addresses and blast them with our stuff” route (NOT recommended), a great new option is Google’s Sponsored Promotions (GSP). GSP’s provide display style advertising inside of the Gmail platform. While you are limited to customers who use a Gmail address, it is a great way to target email users without having to invest in lists that are often ineffective or even potentially dangerous. While this product is still in the “newly-released” phase, it offers several different targeting options which include targeting people who receive emails about your types of products/services and even people who receive emails from your competitors.
YouTube has become not only the largest online video platform, but it has also grown into a fantastic way to research and shop for products. Everything from how-to videos to streaming reviews and product breakdowns, creating and utilizing some simple videos can be a great way to really make your company/brand stand out from the rest. Add to that, the ability to use your videos as pre-roll advertisements. Then, add to that, Google’s ad platform and you have the ability to get great videos out to a very targeted group of people right where they hang out most –SCORE!
While this probably seems like a real no-brainer, social media is probably one of the most under-utilized (or incorrectly utilized) resources available. Whether you are running some holiday themed contests or laying out holiday specific sale hours, etc., social media is a great tool that can be used to really drive some key efforts.
Standing out from the crowd will prove to be the difference between a mediocre holiday season and one for the books. What will you do this year to make your mark?
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